Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Originally posted on Facebook - August 1, 2017 - 001 Unrecorded Income

I've been looking at parts of our yard where we have green banana trees and where mangoes fall and I have been wondering about our unrecorded income, our yields and our movement of assets on the property...

Sometimes we give away mangoes, green bananas and we keep no record of it. If I were dealing with things from the view of keeping proper records, I would definitely keep a record of either the weight of the green bananas, they are really big in this harvest or the number of mangoes which were given away and to whom...

So on a small scale, the "gifts" may not account for much and while they are unrecorded and the monetary value is not assigned, they impact on the quality of life of our neighbours and others..

Other aspects of home care for which records may need to be maintained relates to:

The creation of mulch,

The movement of soil (loaded with mulch) from one area to another..

For example in one area we have about 3 bird pepper trees which are fairly large and are in dire need of some care... Today, while passing an area where some green fig trees had been left to decompose I noted the looseness of the soil, the color and decided to scrape some of the "top soil" from the ground and place it on one or two of the pepper trees in an effort to nourish the bird pepper trees. They sprung up during our tenure, btw. 

We have never given much thought to the creation of mulch as we leave the fallen trees to decompose and nourish the trees which are in existence and we move on..

So while I deal with my guilt over being a terrible recording person and I start thinking about what type of software would tell me what I need to track with respect to yard management, I will leave you all with a link to Wiki on Gross Domestic Income where the concept is documented..  Here is the link to Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_domestic_income.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Originally posted on Facebook - Changes to a name

In the field of work, some persons have professional names and personal names which they use as the occasion fits and as their world changes...

One example of the above occurs when a single female joins the world of work, she may be known by her maiden name and after marrying , she may:

Add her husband's name to her surname via a hyphen or
Drop her surname and use her husband's surname as hers.

Sometimes she may do neither and may continue to be known by her maiden name.

Given that I have a professional life and a personal life and I wish to develop both, I will having a professional name and a personal name...

Thus persons with whom I have attended school, will know me by my professional name and there are persons who will know me by my personal name...

I will be developing one more Facebook page, however given that there may not be much FB content in the personal page, I will leave the name of that page to be a mystery for now....

I will continue to post on this page as I enjoy most of what I read and share such as the weather, so there will be some info from time to time.

Take care...

Originally posted on Facebook - Learning Tip 2017- 07- 27 -002 - Emergency Funds

As mentioned in "Learning Tip 2017- 07- 27 -001", I have taken a few career breaks during my work life and used the time to develop either skills or knowledge. One of the cross overs which happened was the use of planning in gardening:

Close to a year before I was to take one of my career breaks, due to some changes in the home, some freeing up of space in the home and the garden, with the intention of providing food for the family or to support the home in some way, I started planting...

This skill, along with grace from God, a good yield from the cassava allowed me to package the extras from the harvest and store them in the "freezer" section of the refrigerator...
These packets of cassava, can be likened to emergency funds or emergency rations in several ways...

1 We purchase canned foods for our "emergency bag" for use or for holding during the wet season when hurricanes are expected... Some of these are used or some are held for the duration of the storm...

In using my planning skills, the packets of frozen cassava now form part of my emergency rations as they can be taken down and boiled should there be a need for food... One of the benefits of cooking cassava is that it can be warmed in water over and over and eaten as needed.

2 Knowing that there are different needs for "emergency funds" at times and at short notice, I may not be able to meet all of these needs, going forward I will be relying on the produce of a variety of plants to supplement my funds and form part of my emergency funding... There will be:

Cassava which, God willing can be harvested on a rotation basis. Also given the weather, it can be planted out of season and yield either branches in abundance or crops... Sometimes, there may not be any grass to place around the soil which would act as mulch. Then you may have to become resourceful and use the peels from the cassava around the new plants.

Melongene, which when planted near to the cassava, tends to yield produce after the cassava, is a good late producer.. This late yield may be due to the freeing up of the resources after the cassava has yielded as the banana peels are now applied in a concentrated manner to those plants....

Beans... This may be one of those plants, which can be used as one of the essential elements in a Joint Venture. Ventures may be entered into with persons with wire fences. These persons can rent out their fence for a share of the crop and or increase their share in the venture due to the provision of peels, time and care of the crop.. This year, due to some flux, I have several young bean plants as I "sprouted" the seeds, rather than rely on them to be carried forward. With one working fence, I am now in need of partners as I cannot see myself selling the seeds, knowing the possible produce which may be obtained....

Bodi - The yield on Bodi, may not be as quick or bountiful as the yield of beans, however it can provide a change in your menu and or your income as you may wish to sell the produce. The earnings may be reinvested or saved in the Gardening fund, rather than the Emergency Fund.

Ochro - The output on ochro can be bountiful and the produce can be sold as persons may not use all that they harvest.

Pimentos - These plants can be bountiful. One of the benefits of harvesting pimentos and using them is that the seeds can be replanted... This plant, also can be grown out of season, thus you can have a year round supply of these crops.

So if there are persons with fences, who are willing to enter into a Joint Venture, please check me out via FB post or message. Btw, my mother has pimento plants and she would be willing to enter into a Joint Venture....

Originally posted on Facebook: Learning Tip 2017 -07-27 - 001

Having taken career breaks at several times in my work life for various reasons and having used the break period to develop myself by either :

Learning about an industry or the performance of a company or

By learning through practice about some area of interest, I decided to share some information on the outcome of learning on one of the areas, which remained with me, which is gardening or growing crops for consumption. Here is some information on one of the areas of learning which remained with me or which I was able to grasp as a result of my skill and or knowledge in another area:

Skill development - This can take some time in some areas while in others we may achieve results almost without challenges or difficulty.

Also skill development may happen or not. This may also be due to known or unforeseen circumstances and/or understanding of the impact of same.

A good example of the above is growing tomatoes versus growing cassava...

One of the main differences in growing cassava and tomatoes is the use of water as a medium to stimulate growth...

Cassava, on top of the soil or in close proximity to the (ground) surface can absorb a fair amount of water, especially in the dry season.

One of the things which a person who lives in rocky places or a place with stones in the soil, who grows cassava can tell you is that it can be hard work when harvest time comes..

There are soils which can absorb the water and which will not yield the produce easily.

One of the ways to work with this type of soil is to place the cassava stalk on top of the earth, place dried bushes on top of it and to water it daily in the evening...

Of course this is a good fire prevention tool as the soil will be damp in the evening and you will get a good night's sleep after the exertion of lifting the buckets of water and carrying them to the area to be watered and from the coolness of the earth which surrounds the place of habitation.

Tomatoes, on the other hand, may need a traditional approach to master or to obtain crops and may require food for thought..

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Marketing Tip - 20170426 -001 Expanding Market Share through Offering New Products ( A variation of Anson Product Market Matrix)

I've been looking at the Walmart website and was so happy to see Cornmeal in large sizes at decent prices, lots of cookie mixes for about US$2.00 each and peanut butter specials .... However here is a list of items which I would love to see on the site:

1 Ackee in tins or cans ( Jamaican product ~ can work as a substitute for eggs)

2 Richmond Valley Unsweet...ened Cocoa Powder - Yes Hersheys and Swiss Miss are great, however there is something about Richmond Valley that brings back the memories of the teenage years.

3 Pre Cooked whole or chicken halves. (Some supermarkets in T&T offer halves and quarters at reasonable prices)

4 Condensed milk in large cans ( Rainbow offers a large can of condensed milk with the equivalent of the contents of 3 regular sized cans for about TT$13.50 in select supermarkets)

5 Ethnic Spices and flavourings which are sourced from the Caribbean at Caribbean prices... Think Curry, Saffron, Herbs de Provence (Brands such as Chief, Bees)

6 Solar powered water heaters for small and medium sized homes as a partial alternative to indoor water heaters... These have been available in Barbados since the 1990's and will lower some of those bills... Most of them have been created for use in the Bathroom....

As soon as some more products cross my mind, I will update the post.. Read and enjoy...

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Essay - July 2016 - Marketing Artie's Patties


Artie’s Patties is located on the third road on the left on entering Diego Martin and is in close proximity to St. Finbar’s R.C. Church, St. Anthony’s College and several small businesses which are located along the same stretch of roadway. All of these organisations serve approximately several hundred persons within a week.

On the other side of the road, that is the entrance to the street on which Artie’s Patties is located, there are a gas station, a police station (West End Police Station) and two roads with at least three lanes moving in both directions which access Diego Martin proper and Petit Valley.  Over the years, these main roads and highways were expanded and reconfigured to allow residents with and without vehicles better access into and exit out of this general area.

In addition to the aforementioned organisations, there are several multi storey apartment units within a five (5) mile radius of Artie’s Patties, some of which were constructed at least twenty years ago.  Also there are at least twenty (20) housing developments with several apartment units within a twenty five (25) mile radius of the Diego Martin and Petit Valley area. In addition to these there are numerous yachting facilities in the Chaguaramas area.

Outside of these areas, Artie’s Patties are known by party organisers, families with large numbers of children and grandchildren, groceries and road side vendors. (To confirm via marketing survey, and subsequently via survey monkey on FB page).

Strengths and weaknesses

 The brand is known for several products which may be produced internally and or locally. However the new areas of operation may not be known to the public or those who may patronise the store. To confirm via marketing survey and subsequently via survey monkey on FB page).

The new areas of operation appear to be still in the embryo stage and given the nature of the business in which the company operates, assistance may be needed to “market” the company, the products and the lines which are being offered. (To obtain financial information to understand the profitability of the various lines of operation of the business)  

 Compliance with Laws and Legislation – In light of changes over the years in laws and legislation, challenges in the food industry internationally, be it food recalls, the advent of small businesses which are also in the embryo stage of operation, there may be a need to perform the following:

                     i.            Ensure that the company is complaint with the Health and Safety guidelines with respect to handling of food. This area includes:
Ø   Display of goods such as pre made food items and raw produce  which are received from vendors
Ø  Pricing of repackaged dry goods to comply with the VAT Act of Trinidad and Tobago and the Food and Consumer Standards
Ø  Pricing of patties and other meats to comply with the VAT Act of Trinidad and Tobago and the Food and Consumer Standards as to quantities, prices, ingredients, weights, sell by dates, supplier and address of same.
Ø  Drills, Muster Points - Occupational Health & Safety – Food Badges, registers and so forth.

                               ii.            Compliance with other Statutory Requirements, such as the Board of Inland Revenue, National Insurance, Ministry of Health

a.       New Markets and
b.      New Products
c.      CARIRI – Use of testing and findings of the body to support the legitimacy of the goods
d.      Bureau of Standards – ISO Compliance
e.      Information Technology and the benefits to the company such as Linx, Facebook,    Accounting Software, scanners
f.    Documentation of Processes both those that are in use and those that are being developed so that there are savings for the company, retention of knowledge and adoption of best practices.

copyright: Jennifer N Bailey

The River - A photo Essay from July 2016

It was one of those days when I was trying to decide if I could continue to behave as a teenager or what I could do to become a little more grown up.

I walked towards the bridge gingerly, as there was a slight incline in the walkway,  some cracks in the concrete pavement, along with some missing rails on the barrier. This was not a good place for brisk walking or for stumbling….

Once I got past the main piece of the barrier with the missing railing, I placed my hands on the uppermost piece of the railing and leaned over.

In the previous weeks I had seen pieces of debris, some partially submerged, some lying close to the surface of the water, all of which were differently sized and coloured. 

Some of these pieces appeared to be interlocked, either due to the shapes of the parts or the composition of the items. These pieces of debris seemed to slow down the flow of the water and trap other pieces of debris. The depth of the river could not be ascertained as the water appeared to be dark. This may have been  due to absence of  light in the early morning or due to the build up of silt in this last section of the river.

This river is wide and leads to the sea. Over the years the banks have been reinforced with concrete to protect the land on either side of the river. In close proximity to the river bank, higher up the river is a sub district water processing plant which has the option to release water into the river. However, this may not be done as this plant is one of the main processing areas in the district and to lose water might mean reducing the flow of water to some of the consumers in a valley where rain has been inconsistent for some time.

This morning though, some of these items had been removed. Although there had not been any rain in the night before or in the early hours of the morning which would speed up the flow of water and bring more debris into the area, there was little to no movement on the surface of the water.

Then, I spotted a small set of ripples in the middle of the water just where the sun was beginning to shine through.  These ripples then started moving quickly in the direction of the bridge.

I waited, trying to see what was causing the ripples in the deep blue section of the river. After what seemed like an eternity, the ripples separated into small sections of movement along the water.

In the area below the bridge, where the sunlight was brightening the water, I saw small to medium sized fishes swimming close to the surface of the water. It was a sign that there was hope for the dwellers on both sides of the river. After all, fish in the fresh water meant no mosquitos

copyright: Jennifer N. Bailey
email: jennifernbailey24d@gmail.com